Cover Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President of the European Council Charles Michel, US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, French President Emmanuel Macron, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, pose for the Leaders official welcome during the G7 Summit. Photo: Leon Neal - WPA Pool/Getty Images

From their climate change goals to how they planned to combat the pandemic, here are all the key highlights from the 2021 G7 summit

The leaders of seven of the world's most advanced economies have just wrapped up a three-day-long summit that took place in the United Kingdom (UK). The G7 summit, which was held from June 11 to June 13, saw leaders discussing the economy, climate change, the coronavirus pandemic and geopolitics. 

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The meeting took place with the leaders of the G7 which include the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States (US). It was also attended by the presidents of the European Commission and the European Council.

This year, the summit also saw Australia, India and South Korea who were invited as guests. Altogether, the leaders represented over 2.2 billion people and over half of the world's economy. 

The meeting this year was certainly crucial considering that the world is facing major issues such as the pandemic, climate change and the championing of free and fair trade. 

Keep reading to find out what the key highlights of the discussions were as well as what some of the future plans are as a result of the summit.

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1. The leaders have promised to give poorer countries one billion Covid-19 vaccine doses

One of the biggest announcements to come from the G7 summit was that the leaders have pledged to donate a billion Covid-19 vaccines to poorer countries within the next year. 

Many were disappointed with this number as one billion doses are not enough to afford protection to everyone in these poorer nations.

In fact, campaigners have said that 11 billion doses are needed to end the pandemic which has already claimed nearly four million lives and severely disrupted economies and industries around the globe. 

The vaccines that will be supplied by the G7 leaders will be issued directly and through the World Health Organization's Covax scheme.

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2. It was pledged that a global Green Industrial Revolution would be kickstarted

The G7 summit began with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying that the G7 wanted to "drive a global Green Industrial Revolution to transform the way we live".

The leaders committed to nearly halve their carbon emissions by 2030. They also pledged to phase out the use of unabated coal as soon as possible. Unabated coal is a fuel that produces emissions that do not go through any sort of filtering. 

The group also promised to end most government support for the fossil fuel sector. They will also be phasing out petrol and diesel cars in the coming years and have dedicated USD$2 billion in order to achieve this. 

Ultimately, the goal is to transition most of the world to wind, solar and other types of energy that does not produce harmful carbon dioxide emissions.

3. A date on when the world will stop burning coal was not finalised

Despite the agreements the leaders came up with to slow down climate change, they could not agree on a date by which they would stop burning coal. 

The burning of coal is one of the biggest contributors to global warming and while they did promise to stop all international funding for coal projects that do not use technology to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions by 2022, there was no firm date set which disappointed many. 

“It’s very disappointing,” said Jennifer Morgan who is the executive director of Greenpeace International. “This was a moment when the G7 could have shown historic leadership, and instead they left a massive void.”

4. They discussed how to counter China's economic and security influence

During the G7 meeting, the leaders heavily discussed how they would begin to counter China's growing economic and security influence. China has never been a member of the G7 despite having a large economy and the world's largest population.

Ahead of the meeting, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in London said: “The days when global decisions were dictated by a small group of countries are long gone”.

During the meeting, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken told his Chinese counterpart over a phone call that the US would be actively opposing the genocide and ethnic cleansing that is currently occurring against Muslims in Xinjiang. 

Currently, the G7 has created plans to offer nations billions of dollars so that they can cease relying on Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative.

However, it is important to remember that without China's support, important plans and goals of the G7 summit, particularly those regarding climate change, might not be able to happen. 

"Ganging up, pursuing bloc politics and forming small cliques are unpopular and doomed to fail," the spokesman said.

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